CSS Profile Financial Aid Form

In addition, many private colleges also require completion of the CSS/Financial Aid Profile (or a school-specific questionnaire).   This is far more comprehensive form compared to the FAFSA form and asks for a wide range of family assets including family farms, businesses and home equity. If you report a low income on your financial aid forms but live in a 1.5 million dollar house, private institutions are going to want to know about that and why before they begin to distribute financial aid.  The CSS Profile calculation also assumes the student will work part time to pay for college expenses.  The formula used is known as Institutional Methodology (IM).  The CSS Profile is administered by the College Board.  It is rare that the EFC using the Federal Methodology will be the same as the EFC using IM.

Schools that currently require the CSS Profile can be found here

Each year more information is requested, and questions are added or changed.  Some colleges ask how many cars you own, including make, model and year.  Some ask about trusts, something that was not required to be disclosed until recently.  The rules have recently changed regarding divorced parents; most colleges now require disclosure by both parents, custodial and non-custodial.